Cassidy Boensch, Lakers sweep season series with SVSU and Northwood

<p>GVL / Sheila Babbitt </p>

GVL / Sheila Babbitt 

Brady McAtamney

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If Cassidy Boensch was not already on the radar for Division II Player of the Year for whatever reason, she surely is now.

The junior center led the Lakers into Saginaw, Mich. on Thursday, Feb. 14 to take on their rival Saginaw Valley State Cardinals who they dispatched with ease behind the dominant play of Boensch, who turned in one of the most eye-popping stat lines in program history, scoring 38 points with 23 rebounds and four blocks in only 26 minutes on the floor.

“It’s unreal. It’s humbling to be a part of this,” Boensch said. “I say it all the time, my teammates make my job so easy, and they couldn’t have done it better tonight. They just make every pass and I have a lay-in. The ball couldn’t have been delivered to me any better, all credit to them.”

The Lakers defeated the Cardinals 84-54 before beating the Northwood Timberwolves 87-73 in Midland, Mich. on Saturday, Feb. 16 during what was a close game before a 33-point fourth quarter from GVSU.

Boensch, who made 16 of her 23 shot attempts and hauled in 10 offensive rebounds against SVSU, also scored 17 points with eight rebounds and five blocks in the Saturday game – strong numbers that appear dwarfed by the monster showing two nights prior. She is now averaging 20.4 points per game on 59.7 percent shooting with 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. 

Despite being the standout performer, Boensch was not the only Laker to put on a show during the weekend: guard Natalie Koenig detonated for 24 points against Northwood on 9-12 shooting, making five of her six three-point attempts with four assists and three steals and forward Maddie Dailey scored 21 points with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in the same game. 

“Our players showed a great deal of confidence,” said head coach Mike Williams following the win at Northwood. “They didn’t get rattled… Our kids held their composure really well. I think our kids always play hard and I think they always play really smart, but we just didn’t get rattled. They’re just always thinking ‘we’ve got this.’ You stay the course, you stay with it. I thought they did a good job.” 

The Lakers trailed the Timberwolves after the first quarter and managed to tie the game going into halftime before finally pulling away in the fourth quarter. Things may have been far more difficult for Williams once Boensch had to sit early after getting in foul trouble if it weren’t for his gritty reserves. 

“It can be (difficult),” Williams said. “It’s the next person up. Someone goes down, it’s the next person up. I think our players have done a good job in that. They work in practice, they work while they wait and I think that they’re ready when time’s called.”

With only three home games remaining, the Lakers finish their regular season road game slate at 11-1. They are now 23-2 overall and 16-1 in the GLIAC, good for first place in the league after having clinched a top-four seed in March’s conference tournament. 

They will finish up the end stretch of their schedule by welcome a pair of Upper Peninsula schools, first hosting the Northern Michigan Wildcats (19-6, 14-3 GLIAC) on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. before playing the Michigan Tech Huskies (18-7, 14-3) on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. as part of GVSU’s “Sawyers Day Fauxback” event.